The pension for ex-civil servants of the State

Characteristics of the public pension of civil servants assigned to the Regime of Ex-Civil Servants of the State
The public pension for civil servants under the State Civil Service Scheme has different features from those of other workers. The first difference to point out is that, whereas the pensions of self-employed workers and employees are managed by the Social Security Institute, the management of the pension for ex-civil servants falls to the Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations; more specifically, the General Directorate of Personnel Costs and Public Pensions. But before delving deeper into how these pensions work, let's specify who forms part of the so-called ex-civil servants.
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Workers included in the Regime of Ex-civil Servants of the State

  • Professional civil servants of a civilian nature of the State Administration.
  • Professional military servicemen, servicemen of the Navy Support and Reserve categories and those of professional troops and seamen that had the right to remain in the Armed Forces until retirement age.
  • Professional civil servants of the Administration of Justice.
  • Professional civil servants of the Spanish parliament (Cortes Generales).
  • Property registrars.
  • Professional civil servants of other Constitutional Bodies.
  • Interim staff referred to by article 1 of Decree-Law 10/1965, of September 23.
  • Professional civil servants transferred to different Autonomous Community regions.
  • Trainee civil servants waiting to definitely join the service of the State.

The retirement age of ex-civil servants

For all civil servants mentioned above, the standard and compulsory age of retirement is 65 years. It is worth mentioning that employees or self-employed workers do not have this obligation, as they have the possibility to prolong their working life, an option that is also incentivized in the calculation of the pension.

However, like all other workers, civil servants can also take advantage of early retirement, although the eligibility requirements are different. Specifically, early retirement for civil servants is available from the age of 60 and after having worked for the State for a minimum of 30 years.

On the other hand, there is a group of civil servants whose compulsory retirement age is 70. They are as follows:

  • University professors.
  • Magistrates.
  • Judges.
  • Public prosecutors.
  • Court clerks.
  • Property registrars.

The amount of the public pension and how to supplement it

To be eligible for the public retirement pension, the civil servant must have worked for the State for at least 15 years. Moreover, in order to start collecting the pension upon retirement, it is not necessary to be in active service.

One difference with respect to the rest of the Social Security schemes is that there is no specific exclusion period for pension eligibility in the Civil Service Scheme. In the case of workers subject to those other regimes, it will be necessary to prove a minimum of two years of social security contributions in the fifteen year period immediately prior to retiring.

More specifically, the public retirement pension received by civil servants depends on the seniority of the civil servant and the body to which they belong, as well as the number of years of contributions.

The amount of the ordinary pension is determined by applying to the applicable base pay, which depends on the civil servant's body or category, the percentage established according to the number of full years of effective services to the State. 100% of the base pay is reached with a minimum of 35 years of social security contributions. The base pay is fixed each year in the General State Budgets Act.

To find out exactly what this amount will be, you can access a public pension simulation tool that the Ministry of Finance provides on its website, within the section dedicated to ex-civil servants.

Moreover, civil servants must also have the General State Administration Employment Pension Plan. This plan was set up in 2004 in order to supplement civil servants' public pensions. To this end, the State has been contributing to these pension plans up until 2012. Since then, the state contributions are frozen and the growth of the plan depends exclusively on the contributions made by participants at a personal level.

Precisely for this reason, pension plans have become such an attractive savings and investment product even for civil servants, since they will act as a perfect supplement to the public retirement pension.

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Moving towards the end of ex-civil servants

Since January 1, 2011, all civil servants that join the civil service will be assigned to the General Social Security System, and the Special Regime of Ex-civil Servants will be phased out.

This regulation, which came into force with Royal Decree-Law 13/2010, highlights even more the need for public workers to also plan for their retirement in advance, so that when the time comes they can maintain their standard of living.

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